Churching of Women
Thanksgiving of Women after Child-Birth
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean. And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled. But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days. And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest: Who shall offer it before the LORD, and make an atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood. This is the law for her that hath born a male or a female. And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.
Luke ii. 22
And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
The woman shall come into the church, and there shall kneel down some convenient place nigh unto the choir door: and the priest standyng by her shall say these words, or such like, as the case shall require.
FORASMUCH as it hath pleased almighty God of his goodness to give you safe deliverance, (and your child baptism), and hath preserved you in the great danger of childbirth: ye shall therefore give hearty thanks unto God, and pray.
Then shall the priest saye this psalm.
Leuaui oculos. Psalm cxxi.
I HAVE lifted up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence commeth my help?
My help commeth even from the Lord, which hath made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved, and he that keepeth thee will not sleep.
Behold he that keepeth Israel, shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord himself is thy keeper, the Lord is thy defense upon thy right hand.
So that the sun shall not burn thee by day, neyther the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil, yea it is even he that shall keep thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out, and thy comming in, from this time forth forevermore.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. Amen
Lord have mercy upon us.
Christ have mercy upon us.
Lord have mercy upon us.
OUR Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, As it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us.
Priest. And lead us not into temptation.
Answer. But deliver us from evil. Amen.
Priest. O Lord save this woman thy servant.
Answer. Which putteth her trust in thee.
Priest. Be thou to her a strong tower.
Answer. From the face of her enemy.
Priest. O Lord hear our prayer.
Answer. And let our cry come to thee,
Priest. Let us pray.
O ALMIGHTY God, which hast delivered this woman thy servant from the great pain and peril of childbirth: Grant, we beseech thee most merciful Father, that she through thy help may both faithfully live, and walk in her vocation according to thy will in this life present; and also may be partaker of everlasting glory in the life to come: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The woman that is purified, must offer her Crism and other accustomed offerings. And if there be a communion, it is convenient that she recive the Holy Communion.